Tag Archives: love

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

All year long, the residents of West Lake look forward to Hell House, the annual haunted house of sin. Sixteen-year-old Lacey Anne Byer is especially excited because this year she can try out for one of the lead roles, and there is nothing better than having the chance to win lost souls to Christ. But this turns out to be a year of change for Lacey, beginning with the arrival of Ty Davis, a cute, funny, smart boy she can’t stop thinking about. Controversial events in Lacey’s small town cause doubts to swirl in her mind, and issues that seemed so black and white before have suddenly become muddled shades of gray. As her faith is tested, Lacey is forced to examine what she believes, who she loves, and where her loyalties lie.

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
Young adult | 273 pages | July 2011 | Bloomsbury | 1599905272  | Library copy

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Filed under Book Reviews, Young Adult Literature

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

ineffable, adj.
“These words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convey. Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.” (p. 120)


In tiny dictionary definition blurbs, David Leviathan gives us a snapshot of love and all the ways it can liberate you, destroy you and change you. His prose is tight, but poetic; he’s able to convey so much in so very little.

I found myself marking so many passages in this book for the beauty of the moments and experiences they capture. I can’t wait to read it again.


abyss, n.
“There are times when I doubt everything. When I regret everything you’ve taken from me, everything I’ve given you, and the waste of all the time I’ve spent on us.” (p. 6)

awhile, adv.
“…It is easy for me to say it took me awhile to know. That is about as accurate as I can get. There were sneak previews of knowing, for sure. Instances that made me feel, oh, this could be right. But the moment I sheifted from a hope that needed to be proven to a certainty that would be continually challenged? There’s no pinpointing that…” (p. 24)

reservation, n.
“There are many times when I worry that I’ve already lost myself. That is, that my self is so inseparable from being with you that if we were to separate, I would no longer be. I save this thought for when I feel the darkest discontent. I never meant to depend so much on someone else.” (p. 170)

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
Adult fiction | 211 pages | January 2011 | Farrar, Straus and Giroux  | 0374193681  | Library copy


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All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang (2010)

“She said that the most memorable and significant relationships in literature have not typically fit into a conventional mode.  She said that longing matters in literature, more than love.  The power of that relationship which is undefinable.” (p. 102)

“Art made strange allies.” (p. 20)

The year is 1986; Roman, Lucy and Bernard are part of a seminar run by the feared and revered poet, Miranda Sturgis.  Miranda is notorious for her harsh critiques (“bludgeonings”), yet Roman and Bernard find themselves vying for her attention and praise.  As these four lives intersect over the course of twenty years, secrets are revealed, friendships are tested, and love is found and lost. Prevalent throughout the novel is the question of craft vs. talent in relation to writing.  Can poetry be taught?  Is it possible to improve as a writer over the course of time?  Can you write without soul?

Lan Samantha Chang’s elegant and vivid prose will draw you into this slip of a novel and haunt you long after you read the last page.  In All Is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost, Chang tackles some deep questions about writing, art, love, betrayal and self-worth.  I love, love, loved this book.

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